NEW affordable housing – on hold since 2021 – has been further delayed due to concerns a community council hadn’t been asked for its opinion. 

It was expected approval for the development of 15 properties – including nine affordable homes – at Little Mill, near Pontypool, would be approved by councillors at their June 4 meeting. 

The plans have been on hold since 2021 due to a block on new developments in the catchment of the river Usk due to concerns the local sewerage network couldn’t cope and additional phosphates would enter the river. 

Monmouthshire County Council’s planning committee was told Welsh Water has now confirmed there is capacity to process waste water from the new houses without contributing to the frequency or duration of sewage or wastewater being released during storm overflows. 

But the committee, which was recommended to approve the application, instead deferred it after Conservative councillor for Llangybi Fawr, Fay Bromfield, said she was concerned Llanbadoc Community Council hadn’t been consulted due to boundary changes since the application was first proposed. 

She said: “Llanbadoc should have been offered the opportunity to make comments on the application.” 

Conservative councillor for Goetre Fawr, Jan Butler, said she supported the application and the current chair of the Llanbadoc council was a member of the Goytre Fawr council, which she was also a member of, when it commented on the initial application in 2020 and hadn’t objected but had raised concerns. 

Cllr Butler said: “I’m really pleased to note this provides 60 per cent affordable housing it will offer an opportunity, especially for some of our younger residents, to have a home of their own.” 

The affordable homes will be managed by the Pobl housing association and Cllr Butler asked if  allocation would be weighted to local residents and asked: “Will priority be given to Monmouthshire and not Torfaen?” 

Council planning officer Andrew Jones said Pobl’s allocations policy is “outside the remit” of the committee but Monmouthshire’s housing officer has been engaged with it on the type of housing to be provided. 

The site, a field adjacent to Ty Gwyn Road, would have six four-bedroom detached houses for sale on the open market and four three-bedroom semi-detached affordable houses, three two-bedroom sem-detached affordable houses and two, two-bedroom ‘walk up’ flats that would also be affordable. 

It is one of 15 in the council’s current Local Development Plan allocated for 60 per cent affordable housing, subsidised by the open market homes. 

Wyesham independent Emma Bryn said she was “a little confused” how the site met with sustainability requirements and said there are only four buses a day in the area, which don’t get people to locations in time for work. 

She said: “It is only considered affordable housing for people able to afford to travel by private car.” 

Mr Jones said the site had been allocated in the development plan and there is typically higher car dependency in Monmouthshire and Little Mill has facilities including a village hall and pub but no shops. 

Chepstow Labour councillor Sue Riley said it is close to Mamhilad Park, in Torfaen, where a new school and doctors surgery are planned as part of a new housing development

The committee agreed to defer making a decision until the July planning meeting, by a majority of 11 to four, to allow Llanbadoc Community Council and local members the opportunity to comment. Cllr Butler had urged the committee to decide the application at the meeting.